- The Washington Times - Friday, August 8, 2008

DETROIT | Michigan political leaders are urging two-term Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to resign and stop damaging the struggling city’s reputation after he was jailed Thursday for violating conditions of his bond.

“This is a national embarrassment,” said U.S. Rep. Candice S. Miller, a Republican from Harrison Township.

She urged Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm to intervene before the nation’s 11th largest city falls into further disrepute amid the mayor’s mounting legal woes, which include an eight-count criminal indictment for perjury and misconduct.

“His actions are no longer simply reflecting poorly on his administration. It is affecting the city, the region and the state,” she said.

Mrs. Granholm late Thursday officially set a Sept. 3 date where she will preside over a hearing on removing Mr. Kilpatrick from office. The hearing will allow the City Council and the mayor to make arguments for and against his ouster.

Mr. Kilpatrick was jailed for violating the terms of his bond in a police whistleblower scandal, the latest in a series of problems that have rocked government leadership in the flagging Motor City for months.

In court, the 38-year-old mayor, his lips quivering, asked for leniency as he praised the judicial process and admitted that he was guilty of taking a trip out of the country without notifying the court. He went to Windsor, Canada, across the river from Detroit, on July 23.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Robert Moran told the judge that Mr. Kilpatrick was irresponsible and was not taking his charges seriously by leaving.

“He didn’t notify anyone,” Mr. Moran said. “We found out about it from the media. That is a flagrant violation of bond. … This court should be outraged.”

Mr. Kilpatrick’s attorneys immediately appealed, and the judge granted a hearing on the motion for Friday.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kilpatrick appointed his childhood friend and Chief of Staff Kandia Milton to run the city temporarily during his one-night jail sentence. The City Council president would take over if Mr. Kilpatrick’s jail term was extended.

In a statement, the mayor told Detroit residents that “government will continue to operate as usual,” noting that city services would operate as scheduled.

But while he offered Detroit residents business as usual, reaction across the state to his jail sentence, the latest in a long list of political missteps, was damning.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who previously had stopped short of calling for the mayor’s ouster, said he was speaking out now and joining the growing chorus for the mayor to step aside.

City Council President Kenneth Cockrel Jr., who has passionately urged the mayor to leave, assured residents that the scandal would soon have an end, noting that the mayor’s problems were yet another bit of unwelcome criticism that portray his city in a negative light.

Mr. Kilpatrick faces an eight-count criminal indictment, including charges of perjury and misconduct. Authorities say he lied under oath during testimony in a police whistleblower case that cost the city $8.4 million in a settlement the mayor negotiated. The case took a twist after local newspapers printed excerpts of sexually explicit text messages sent between Mr. Kilpatrick, a married father of three, and his former aide, which contradict their claims under oath that the two were not involved romantically.

The mayor’s legal problems also have hampered his politically connected family. His mother, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, barely survived a Democratic primary challenge Tuesday as her opponents linked her to her son’s problems.

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